Jim Leyland is hanging up his hat.
The 69-year-old manager of the Detroit Tigers announced today that he will be resigning from his position. Leyland made the announcement shortly after the Tigers’ ALCS loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.
Leyland has been with the Tigers for 8 seasons. But now, at the age of 69, he says that it’s time for someone younger to take over the job.
Leyland said: “I’m going to be 69 years old… I’m not ashamed of that. I’m proud of it. The fuel’s getting a little low.”
Jim Leyland arrived in Detroit in 2006. He has won three AL Central titles, two AL pennants, and has an overall record of 700-597 with the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers have made it to the World Series twice under Leyland’s management, but they have never won baseball’s biggest series. They were beaten by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and the San Francisco Giants in 2012.
Leyland said that the team’s most recent loss hurt a little because he felt that the Tigers had earned a place in the World Series.
Leyland said: “This one really hurt… I felt like we let one get away, that’s what hurt more than anything else. With all due respect to the Boston Red Sox, they earned it, I truly believe the Detroit Tigers should be playing (in the World Series).”
The Chicago Tribune reports that Leyland knew that this was going to be his last season back in September. The Tigers manager told a few people, but said that he wanted to wait until after the season to make an official announcement.
Leyland said: “It’s been a thrill… We won quite a bit. I’m very grateful to be a small part of that.”
Leyland also added that this shouldn’t be considered a retirement. The longtime manager, who has accumulated 1,769 wins over the last 22 years, said that he won’t be in the dugout anymore, but he may find another job somewhere in the stadium.
Leyland said: “I’m not totally retiring today, I just won’t be in the dugout anymore… I want to retire a Tiger.”